How to Explain ADHD to a Child

How to Explain ADHD to a Child – If your child was just diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, it’s important to remember that ADHD isn’t a death sentence. In fact, it’s a condition that can bring incredible gifts.  Of course, you may worry that the diagnosis can make your child feel labeled or set apart from other kids. So it’s important to that you not let ADHD define your child.   

Don’t Let ADHD Define Your Child 

Having ADHD is like being left-handed; it’s only a part of who you are. Try to answer any questions your child has about ADHD, but keep the answers simple and brief. Some older children may want to read a book about ADHD, but they don’t need to become experts on ADHD – just experts on living their lives as fully and well as they can.

One of the most important things for the parents to do is to help that child feel good about who he or she is. You’ll need to search out and promote the positives – both about life and about your child – even as you deal with the all-too-obvious negatives. If your child feels good about who he is and about what life has to offer, he will do far better than if he does not.

“In my 30-plus years, I have learned that the moment of delivering the ADHD diagnosis ranks among the most crucial. It can determine the arc of a person’s life.” | In Dr. Ned Hallowell ADDitude article on “Your Brain is a Ferrari,” provides pointers for professionals and parents on how to explain ADHD to a child in a way that emphasizes strengths and builds confidence.  

Read all of Dr. Hallowell’s ADDitude articles on ADHD here. Dr. Hallowell is a member of ADDitude’s ADHD Specialist Panel.